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Theory in Action

Theoretical Constructionism

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Edited by Peter Sohlberg and Håkon Leiulfsrud

How to approach social theory actively, with a theoretical lens analogous to the use of methods, has been a challenge for professional scholars and students alike. Rather than treating social theory in an iconic manner, we explore the active use of theorizing for constructing and generating new knowledge. Examples of theoretical constructions and topics discussed include: the heuristic role of concepts; theoretical construction work; the importance of question-driven sociology; counterfactual reasoning; the power of ordinary language; an inventory of explanatory practices in social science; abduction; comparative case studies; class operations and the potential for using Merton’s middle range theory. Theory in Action is highly relevant for researchers and students interested in constructing theories in the social sciences.

Contributors are: Göran Ahrne, Mette Andersson, Roar Hagen, Willy Guneriussen, Ragnvald Kalleberg, Håkon Leiulfsrud, Willy Martinussen, Annick Prieur, Peter Sohlberg, Pål Strandbakken, and Richard Swedberg.

Austro-Marxism: The Ideology of Unity

Austro-Marxist Theory and Strategy. Volume 1

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Edited by Mark E. Blum and William T. Smaldone

This volume offers the essential theoretical thought of the Austro-Marxist thinkers Otto Bauer, Max Adler, Karl Renner, Friedrich Adler, Rudolf Hilferding, and Otto Neurath over the span of their Austrian Social-Democratic careers, from the decades before World War I until the mid-1930s. Austro-Marxist theoretical perspectives were conceived as social scientific tools for the issues that faced the development of socialism in their time. The relevance of their thought for the contemporary world inheres in this understanding.

Trouble in the University

How the Education of Health Care Professionals Became Corrupted

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Mildred A. Schwartz

In Trouble in the University, Mildred A. Schwartz analyzes how changes in U.S. higher education affecting the health care professions and in the relations between universities and the state have created conditions that can give rise to corruption. Explanations for how the connections between changing conditions and organizational structures can lead to illegal and unethical behavior are uncovered through the study of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Because that University's experiences were not unique, they can be used to demonstrate how higher education has become vulnerable to corruption. Identification of the structural and cultural sources of corruption also suggests possible ways it could be avoided.

Collaborative Projects

An Interdisciplinary Study

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Edited by Andy Blunden

Collaborative Projects - An Interdisciplinary Study presents research in disciplines ranging from Education, Psychotherapy and Social Work to Literacy and anti-poverty Project Management to Social Movement studies and Political Science. All the contributions are unified by use of the concept of 'project'. 'Project' is 'leading activity' for Child Development, whilst 'life project' may play a crucial role in personal development and Psychotherapy; the social fabric of a community can be understood as woven from projects which may be sustained by NGOs, or develop from social movements to institutions. Giving concrete content to the concept of 'project' in each domain of research, opens a prospect of a genuinely interdisciplinary human science.

Contributors are: Igor Arievitch, Michael Arnold, Lynn Beaton, William Blanton, Andy Blunden, Michael Cole, Brecht De Smet, Natalia Gajdamaschko, Virginia Gordon, Manfred Holodynski, Naja Berg Hougaard, Vera John-Steiner, Elena Kravtsova, Gennadiy Kravtsov, Ron Lubensky, Morten Nissen, Jennifer Power, Mike Rifino, Keiko Matsuura, Francisco Medina, Anna Stetsenko, Greg Thompson, Chiel van der Veen, Eduardo Vianna, Lynne Wolbert, and Helena Worthen.

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Mingyuan Gu

Cultural Foundations of Chinese Education describes the evolution of Chinese education for more than 5,000 years, and analyzes in depth its interaction with Chinese culture. From the Imperial Civil Examinations to the Western Learning; from the transplant of Western systems of education to the New Democratic Education Movement; from the copying of the Soviet experience in education to the explorations for approaches to establish new education in China since the Economic Reforms in the late 1970s, this book provides unique analyses on conflicting elements in Chinese education, and leads to the understanding of the issues in modernizing education in China.

With condensed and concentrated analyses on the process of historical evolution and the interactions between Chinese education and Chinese cultural traditions, this book can be used as a major reference for international readers to understand education in China from the perspective of cultural evolution.

University Partnerships with the Corporate Sector

Faculty Experiences with For-Profit Matriculation Pathway Programs

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Carter Winkle

Carter Winkle provides insight into the contemporary phenomena of partnerships between universities and for-profit educational service providers resulting in matriculation pathway programs for non-native English speaking students in the United States. Positive and negative implications of such partnerships are illuminated through interpretation of empirically derived narrative accounts of English language program administrators, English language teaching faculty, and academic discipline faculty working in contexts where such joint-venture matriculation pathway programs exist. The book retells stories of these academic professionals and examines how the new governance structures and practices of these programs impacted them and their work context, focusing on their institutional status, autonomy in curricular and pedagogical decision-making, and perceptions of how these new corporate initiatives affected students and their host institutions.

The Credibility of Microcredit

Studies of Impact and Performance

Edited by Dwight Haase

Pullulating from a handful of isolated experiments in the 1970s to a sophisticated network of over 140 million borrowers today, microfinance is a synecdoche for global trends toward market-based solutions to social problems. But in recent years economic crises and political attacks have raised doubts about its efficacy, begetting polemic debates and sometimes baseless assertions from both supporters and detractors of microfinance.
The Credibility of Microcredit offers a more objective assessment of the merits and shortfalls of microfinance around the world by way of interdisciplinary research. It features works from leading researchers in the field of microfinance, as well as new names who complement one another’s work with a variety of methods and theoretical approaches.

Contributors include: Britta Augsburg, Gwendolyn Alexander Tedeschi, Jonathan Bauchet, Cyril Fouillet, Soren Hauge, Dean Karlan, Jonathan Morduch, Michael Pisani, Sujata Shetty, Elisabeth Vik, and David Yoskowitz.

Reprint of some articles published in the journal Perspectives on Global Development and Technology, 2010, volume 9, No. 3-4.

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Edited by John J. Betancur and Cedric Herring

Reinventing Race, Reinventing Racism not only provides fresh theoretical insights into the new forms of race and racism, it also provides evidence of and policy solutions to address these seemingly intractable forms of discrimination and racial disparities. These issues are tackled by some of the nation’s most prominent race and public policy scholars. In addition, the volume has contributions by some of the most innovative up-and-coming voices that are often neglected in such volumes. Reinventing Race, Reinventing Racism is an accessible book written on an important and timely subject that continues to affect the lives of Americans of all shades and ethnicities.

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Edited by Ralph L. Piedmont and Andrew Village

The social scientific study of religion is a crucial arena of human endeavor, as questions about the existence and nature of God interact with the study of religion as a human phenomenon. The twenty-third volume of RSSSR continues the tradition of promoting extended debate of current issues in the field. The special section on Theism and Non-Theism in Psychological Science includes contributions from leading researchers in this area. This landmark collection of papers draws on a range of perspectives that both summarize the theism debate in psychology and help to move it forward in new directions. In addition, the volume includes papers on other key areas in the study of religion such as spirituality and social capital.

The Birth of Modern Europe

Culture and Economy, 1400-1800. Essays in Honor of Jan de Vries

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Edited by Laura Cruz and Joel Mokyr

It seems undeniable that Jan de Vries has cast an indelible impression upon the field of early modern economic history. With his rejection of traditional models that left pre-industrial Europe with little to no role to play in modern development, de Vries’ work has laid claim to the rich significance of the early modern period as the birth of the contemporary West. Culminating in The Industrious Revolution: Consumer Behavior and the Household Economy 1650 to the Present (2008), his work has changed the way scholars conceptualize and study this dynamic period, as the contributors in this volume attest. Utilizing the methods and concepts pioneered by de Vries, these authors display the depth and breadth of his influence, with applications ranging from trade to architecture, from the Netherlands to China, and from the 1400s to the present day.